Dr. R. H. URWICK

BWISC Bulletin June 1964

By the death of Dr. Reginald Henry Urwick on February 24th - a few days before his 88th birthday - philately has lost another of the few remaining collectors of the 'old school.'  One could say that he had an almost unique personality, particularly rare nowadays, inasmuch that he was not only a student of the highest order but a general collector of many countries and with it all as modest a man as one could ever hope to meet.  He had a deep appreciation and understanding of the classics - his collection of Portugal was internationally known, in fact he was considered to be the foremost collector of Portugal outside Portugal and had made extensive researches on the embossed issue of that country and of Portugal used in the neighbouring islands, particularly Macau.  He received a Gold Medal and Special Trophy in Lisbon and was also the proud owner of other international awards.

Dr. Urwick was always willing to lend parts of his collection for study by his fellow collectors and nothing pleased him more than for his friends to visit his charming home at Ford, near Shrewsbury, to see his stamps and chat about them.  He had profound knowledge and collected nearly all the British West Indies countries and would delight his visitors by bringing out a volume or two containing such treasures as he had collected over a number of years or by showing a cover or item acquired during his recent purchases.  Many members of our Circle have reason to remember Dr. Urwick with gratitude for allowing them access to his collections for research on their own collections, as although he himself admitted he was never fond in later years of putting pen to paper by contributing articles he encouraged others in their writings, and many of his covers have helped to prove the existence of early dates or printings.

He had been a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society, London, for a great many years, a Founder Vice-President  of the  British  West  Indies  Study Circle,  and  was  a  President  of the  Shrewsbury Philatelic Society for a number of years.  In 1962 his name was added to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, a worthy climax to his achievements as a life-long philatelist.

In his private life Dr. Urwick had a long and distinguished career in medicine and was Medical Officer to Shrewsbury School, honorary physician to the Royal Salop Infirmary and the Orthopaedic Hospital.  For many years he afforded great service to the town and district as Chairman of the Shrewsbury and Atcham Joint Hospital Board.  He became Mayor of Shrewsbury in 1946, and an alderman in 1954, finally retiring in 1961.

The British West Indies Study Circle was represented at his funeral by Mr. Arthur E. Beach, a close friend and fellow student of the stamps and postal history of Tobago.

To Mrs. Thirza Urwick, who shared her husband's pleasure in welcoming his many friends to "Five Acres," are expressed sincere sympathies on behalf of the Circle in her great loss, and the loss also to philately of a very distinguished and charming gentleman.

                                          Rose Titford.